Rawane Ndiaye commits to Tennessee basketball; Vols now two scholarships over limit

The roster grew thicker just in time for the spring signing period to begin.

Rawane “Pops” Ndiaye (pronounced Rah-wan-e N-jie), a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, officially committed to coach Cuonzo Martin and Tennessee men’s basketball on Tuesday afternoon, the News Sentinel learned. The verbal commitment made the big-bodied junior college product the fifth recruit for the Vols’ 2013 class.

The problem: Martin only has three open scholarships.

“As far as I know, there is one,” Indian Hills coach Barret Peery told the News Sentinel, referencing a scholarship being available for Ndiaye.

Having missed three months of the past season with a foot injury, Ndiaye averaged 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 13 games at Indian Hills. According to Peery, UT and other programs grew interested in the Senegal native during the past “six to eight weeks.”

Ndiaye selected the Vols over interest from LSU, Auburn and Texas Christian.

“Teams really started coming after him,” Peery said. “It’s hard to find an available big body this time of year.”

The coach described Ndiaye as a physical rebounder and defender who can run the floor and score around the basket with his right hand.

UT assistant Tracy Webster identified Ndiaye and recruited him along with Martin. Ndiaye took an official visit to Knoxville last weekend.

Ndiaye originally committed to Western Carolina out of Body of Christ (N.C.) Academy in 2011 before heading to prep school in North Carolina. He lived in New York City upon arriving in the U.S. from Senegal, “five or six years ago,” according to Peery.

Now two scholarships over the mandated NCAA limit of 13, the Vols are still waiting to hear whether All-SEC forward Jarnell Stokes will return or forego his junior season to enter the NBA draft.

Ndiaye plans to send a signed National Letter of Intent to UT later this week.

Blackman High School point guard Darius Thompson, who committed to UT on March 23, is expected to file his Letter of Intent on Wednesday. The 6-4 Murfreesboro native averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals last season, leading Blackman to a 30-1 record.

The Vols received NLIs from Dyer County guard Robert Hubbs III, Buford (Ga.) High combo forward A.J. Davis, and Huntington (W.Va.) Prep point guard Travon Landry in the early signing period.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 88

born2ride writes:

2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game?

I suppose Martin likes his toughness?

ricks995 writes:

First Travon Landry now this. Neither player will have any impact in the SEC.

tovolny writes:

DAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH...??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

chipmurphy461 writes:

Read on another site he had an injured foot for most of last season. He initially committed to Western Carolina, but chose a community college so he's only got 2 years of eligibility remaining. Maybe Cuonzo can share his insight and logic on this guy. We've seen the consistent recruiting and talent Bruce brought in on the court and statistic wise, as of now Cuonzo is miles behind. Cuonzo seems like a good guy, but being a good guy doesn't always translate to winning basketball games. If this upcoming year isn't better than the previous years Cuonzo's gotta go and we've gotta rehire Bruce. We can't allow our program to decline any more than it already has and Cuonzo's recruits are apparently, more often than not, looking like they're in the wrong conference. Not to mention we're now starting towards a reputation of over signing, in turn somebody's gotta go and that can't look too enticing to recruits seeing as how we're not competing for the national championship every year. All that being said welcome aboard Rawane, I hope you and Cuonzo prove me wrong. Go Vols

ricks995 writes:

6'11" and he committed to Western Carolina.....that's all you need to know. I'm sure he will stack up well with the likes of Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle and Chris Walker. What a joke.

underthehill writes:

I have been extremely hopeful Martin would be a special coach..I ain't give up yet but it's getting tough..Georgia out coached UT 2 times and Grant used the same game plan for bama to win the biggest Vol game of the year..letting your opponent game plan against a coach who is not likely to use a zone even when his team is getting killed in man defense..and now recruiting this guy ..all I can figure is Stokes must be leaving and Martin is desperate for a big man..

tenndave writes:

in response to ricks995:

6'11" and he committed to Western Carolina.....that's all you need to know. I'm sure he will stack up well with the likes of Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle and Chris Walker. What a joke.

Please enlighten us to your coaching credintials and make us feel better. I have questions too but till the product is on the floor, I can't tell any more than you. Obviously there is something coach likes about this kid and there must be a house cleaning coming for some reason we are not privy to the information. After this team got over the loss of Maymon they progressed and got better throughout the season. So let's wait and see before we as only fans are negative about the outlook.

ricks995 writes:

From the website Hoopniks.com

From the category of long-term project, the Tennessee Volunteers added 6′-10″ Rawane Ndiaye. After averaging 2.5 points per game in Indian Hills CC (IA), Ndiaye’s 260 pound frame is headed to Tennessee after a weekend official visit. It’s hard to expect much from Ndiaye, given his lack of junior college performance, but perhaps a large body was needed to compete in practice. Still, the saying that one can’t teach size comes to mind here.
What is Martin doing!!

bigsteve92 writes:

I Guess You All Never Heard You Cant CoacH Height. The Dude Is 6'11. You Can Coach His Talent Up. You Think Every Star In Any Sport was Four And Five Star Players. Remember Some People Get Better In College.

Also Being Over TheLimit Is No Big Deal. It Always Works It Self Out. All Sudden Someone Transfers, Goes To The League, Gives Up Their Scholarship. It Will Work Itsel out

ricks995 writes:

in response to tenndave:

Please enlighten us to your coaching credintials and make us feel better. I have questions too but till the product is on the floor, I can't tell any more than you. Obviously there is something coach likes about this kid and there must be a house cleaning coming for some reason we are not privy to the information. After this team got over the loss of Maymon they progressed and got better throughout the season. So let's wait and see before we as only fans are negative about the outlook.

He averaged 2.5 pts and 3 rebounds in high school. Doesn't take much enlightenment to see this waste of a scholarship.

jack4444 writes:

OK, CCM is a good man, the kind of man you'd entrust your kid to for 4 years. His values are sound and he has overcome adversity. His practices sound disciplined and productive.

But can he coach on gameday? What do his teams do coming out of a timeout? Do his teams adapt and adjust during the game, even coming out in the second half?

CCM can learn to be a better gameday coach, maybe not a BP but better than he is now. Assuming Stokes returns- he's less ready than the unready McCrae- then next year will be CCM's make it or break it year. Sweet Sixteen.

vol98champ writes:

Even if Stokes comes back, doubtful, after next year we have nothing even resembling a SEC 5. This kinda looks like desperation. Sure hope they prove me wrong.

chipmurphy461 writes:

If Stokes leaves now, he and Scotty Hopson are going to be roommates. The NBA big men would eat Stokes alive. He's full of potential, but hasn't reached it yet.

kdaff51 writes:

CM will be gone after next season. May not make it thru the complete year!

MikeInTN writes:

Wow...that signing is sure to get everyone pumped!!!

ALCANVol writes:

1 year from now: Welcome back, Bruce!

VolzsFan writes:

in response to ricks995:

He averaged 2.5 pts and 3 rebounds in high school. Doesn't take much enlightenment to see this waste of a scholarship.

No...that was while he was injured in Jr. College. Nice job coach ricks995.

LiveToRide writes:

Had high hopes for Martin. At this point, I can't help but think he's the second coming of Dooley. Unbelievable recruiting. Sincerely hope he proves me wrong, but I suspect we'll be looking for a new basketball coach shortly. In my 54 years, I can't recall a darker, more disappointing time for mens sports at UT. Hard...VERY hard..to justify the expense of donating and supporting the University of Tennessee athletics.

Oenoboy writes:

Repeat after me...

Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again. Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again. Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again.................................................

Good grief...can everyone just move on.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I think this means Stokes is adios..

jt45 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think this means Stokes is adios..

You may be right but I hope that is not the case. For whatever reason the Vols seem to always lose the key players just as they are about to put together a solid group.

eVOLved writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

No...that was while he was injured in Jr. College. Nice job coach ricks995.

You have to hand it to this troll. Zz, right? It makes me think this guy posted all the d-bag comments about how CCM doesn't know what he is doing, just so he can get on with and act normally for a Vols message board.

Of importance, if Stokes stays they will be a great team, and likely a great team with McRae, the talented incoming freshman, Maymon and Golden.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to chipmurphy461:

Read on another site he had an injured foot for most of last season. He initially committed to Western Carolina, but chose a community college so he's only got 2 years of eligibility remaining. Maybe Cuonzo can share his insight and logic on this guy. We've seen the consistent recruiting and talent Bruce brought in on the court and statistic wise, as of now Cuonzo is miles behind. Cuonzo seems like a good guy, but being a good guy doesn't always translate to winning basketball games. If this upcoming year isn't better than the previous years Cuonzo's gotta go and we've gotta rehire Bruce. We can't allow our program to decline any more than it already has and Cuonzo's recruits are apparently, more often than not, looking like they're in the wrong conference. Not to mention we're now starting towards a reputation of over signing, in turn somebody's gotta go and that can't look too enticing to recruits seeing as how we're not competing for the national championship every year. All that being said welcome aboard Rawane, I hope you and Cuonzo prove me wrong. Go Vols

Way to go Coach Martin. This is a great recruit.This should be the remaining piece needed for a National Championship, providing Stokes returnes of course.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

You'd think this was April 1 instead of April 16. I sure hope Martin knows what he is doing.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think this means Stokes is adios..

I think it means that Martin is adios.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think this means Stokes is adios..

Either that or maybe Maymon isn't as healthy as we hoped?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I think it means that Martin is adios.

As long as Pearl or Marshall replaces him, I'm okay with that.

ricks995 writes:

in response to eVOLved:

You have to hand it to this troll. Zz, right? It makes me think this guy posted all the d-bag comments about how CCM doesn't know what he is doing, just so he can get on with and act normally for a Vols message board.

Of importance, if Stokes stays they will be a great team, and likely a great team with McRae, the talented incoming freshman, Maymon and Golden.

Not a troll, just a concerned fan who sees where this program is headed. I stand corrected on the high school stats. He avg 1 pt and 3 rebounds as a junior. His senior year it was 10 and 7. My point was that you cant win in the SEC with junior college "projects". Transfers should be prepared to produce immediately. I would love to return to the NCAA tournament. It would be nice to win an NIT game. We will do neither with recruits like Landry and this big man. Just my honest opinion. Not trying to offend anyone. I just have a feeling somewhere Billy Donavon read this story and chuckled. On a better note. Coach Jones is kicking butt on the recruiting trail.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

Either that or maybe Maymon isn't as healthy as we hoped?

I keep hopin' that shoe doesn't drop but I see it hangin' out there.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

Either that or maybe Maymon isn't as healthy as we hoped?

No, I think Reese or some other pine rider will leave..

CoverOrange writes:

in response to ALCANVol:

1 year from now: Welcome back, Bruce!

Don't expect miracles even if the miracle occurred and Bruce came back. There won't be any sleeper Loftons or Jujuans left on the team.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to ricks995:

Not a troll, just a concerned fan who sees where this program is headed. I stand corrected on the high school stats. He avg 1 pt and 3 rebounds as a junior. His senior year it was 10 and 7. My point was that you cant win in the SEC with junior college "projects". Transfers should be prepared to produce immediately. I would love to return to the NCAA tournament. It would be nice to win an NIT game. We will do neither with recruits like Landry and this big man. Just my honest opinion. Not trying to offend anyone. I just have a feeling somewhere Billy Donavon read this story and chuckled. On a better note. Coach Jones is kicking butt on the recruiting trail.

Billy Donovan is laughing?? I doubt that, he's crying and thinking:: JC athletes and I still can't beat UT..

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

This was discussed on Volnation 2 days ago. It's believed that Yemi might transfer, but not officially confirmed. Perhaps one of the incoming freshman might grey shirt or may not make it in at all. Not the most exciting news in recruiting and it really puts CCM in the spotlight with his style of recruiting.Stokes returns and next season appears great. Stokes departure may be the writing on the wall for CCM.

chipmurphy461 writes:

Oenoboy 6:22 p.m. 4/16/2013

Repeat after me...Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again. Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again. Bruce Pearl will never coach at UT again.................................................Good grief...can everyone just move on.

Why won't Bruce coach at UT again?

CoverOrange writes:

Just a point of perspective, Aaron Craft was a 2 star when Pearl offered him a scholly. Yeah he defected to Ohio State where he had several BigTenLevenWelveWhatever honors in a much more competitive league than the SEC.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

This recruit almost seems like a knee jerk reaction in case Stokes leaves. If Stokes leaves, there is just Yemi and Maymon IF Maymon is completely 100% ready to go. Not a lot of post presence otherwise so I can understand the center recruit, and I understand that it's hard to find top quality center/power forward talent this late in the recruiting game. However, I just don't really see what this guy is going to do for our team outside of giving rest to whichever post players we do retain.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Perhaps he could pack on 100 lbs and play left tackle after Tiny leaves next year..

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

Last year Kentucky had the number 1 recruiting class with at least three 5 star recruits and they ended up in the NIT with us. Having another big body can't hurt. We have a solid class and Coach Martin is in on a number of very good young players for the future. We just have to be patient. Scotty Hopson, Tyler Smith and Tobias Harris were 5 star recruits but did they produce more than Jawann Smith or Chris Lofton or Wayne Chism. We are a true point guard away from being a very good team. Adding a big body to the roster, even if just for practice purposes, can't hurt.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to jt45:

You may be right but I hope that is not the case. For whatever reason the Vols seem to always lose the key players just as they are about to put together a solid group.

Yeah, but the good news is he was supposed to declare by today..As far as I've been told he did not declare entry into the NBA draft, so unless something happens in the next few hours it looks like he's returning to UT.

wigmeister writes:

Why in heaven's name would Stokes declare. He is not even close to ready for the NBA. An excellent year with a good team (possible next year with Maymon coming back) would give him a much higher ranking for the draft. If he declares, it will be a bigger mistake than Hopson. That mistake was huge.

Now we have to hope CCM is doing his off season practice on how to improve game coaching skills, and the ability to adapt and overcome!

1vavolfan writes:

Not sure there is anyone on the roster I would trade for this guy. I would even take Edwards and Chievous over a guy 6'10" that can only get 3.5 rpg at a Community College. I know the kid was hurt but he's probably 6 inches taller than the other teams center, 6-8 rebounds should fall in his lap. This could lead to bad news. Maybe someone transferring or a recruit that can't make the grades, hopefully it doesn't mean Stokes is leaving.

rb4346 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think this means Stokes is adios..

I am inclined to agree with you but I hope it doesn't happen. If we can get Maymon back fully recovered along with Stokes and the new recruits I feel the Vols can be a very competitive team. Of course good coaching is the key and I am not sure if CCM can get the job done. Hate to sound so negative but I don't have much faith in the coaching right now.

chipmurphy461 writes:

The deadline to enter the NBA Draft is April 28th as long as an underclassmen has not signed with an agent.

pcorange writes:

in response to chipmurphy461:

Read on another site he had an injured foot for most of last season. He initially committed to Western Carolina, but chose a community college so he's only got 2 years of eligibility remaining. Maybe Cuonzo can share his insight and logic on this guy. We've seen the consistent recruiting and talent Bruce brought in on the court and statistic wise, as of now Cuonzo is miles behind. Cuonzo seems like a good guy, but being a good guy doesn't always translate to winning basketball games. If this upcoming year isn't better than the previous years Cuonzo's gotta go and we've gotta rehire Bruce. We can't allow our program to decline any more than it already has and Cuonzo's recruits are apparently, more often than not, looking like they're in the wrong conference. Not to mention we're now starting towards a reputation of over signing, in turn somebody's gotta go and that can't look too enticing to recruits seeing as how we're not competing for the national championship every year. All that being said welcome aboard Rawane, I hope you and Cuonzo prove me wrong. Go Vols

I am in agreement with most of what you are saying here, but I don't see UT ever re-hiring Bruce Pearl. I know he's a good coach, but he is damaged goods. He'll coach again somewhere, but it won't be at UT. I do think that this coming season needs to show improvement or CCM needs to have a very good reason why it didn't. Not being able to get his team up to beat Mercer in the NIT after running his yap about the NCAA selection committee was a huge indictment against him as a coach. I hope he proves me wrong as well and wins the SEC this year, but I am skeptical.

BillsBrother writes:

John Snodgrass
Scott Moore
Boomer Herndon
Ryan Childress
Rawane Ndiaye?

Snapshot writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

No...that was while he was injured in Jr. College. Nice job coach ricks995.

There is no Z in Vols, troll. I'll do it slowly so you will understand, V-O-L-S. Got it?

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly, Groovy. Martin was a winning coach last year with 80% of scoring declaring for NBA. Harris thought he made the right choice; Scotty...probably not, but in his defense, his senior year would have been with a new coach. The point is, Martin took basically 4 freshmen and had a winning team by the end of the year.

This past year was a disappointment in so many ways. My fav two players are Richardson and Moore--both are back, and one or both could start next year, but where?

My thinking is, after Stokes, McRae, and JM, the other two positions are open. Hubbs will likely take a starting wing position; the other is a battle for point guard, of which we have 4-5 to choose from. My guess is Darius Thompson wins the PG spot.

That leaves Golden, Richardson, and Moore--all former starters--coming off the bench. YM rotates inside, along with Moore. That's a 9-man rotation, about all CCM likes to handle. Future is bright and I like our chances next year.

That leaves the question, why did Martin take the big guy? I think it was for Stokes' development. He signed a 5-star player with unlimited potential, whose only fault is playing below the rim. Last year, the shot blockers absolutely ate Stokes' lunch and he disappeared amongst the trees, so to speak. Bringing on the new shot blocker toughens Stokes up in practice; he gets better next year; develops a jump shot; learns to shoot free throws; all is well. Go Vols!

SevenT writes:

in response to rclarkvols#224537:

Last year Kentucky had the number 1 recruiting class with at least three 5 star recruits and they ended up in the NIT with us. Having another big body can't hurt. We have a solid class and Coach Martin is in on a number of very good young players for the future. We just have to be patient. Scotty Hopson, Tyler Smith and Tobias Harris were 5 star recruits but did they produce more than Jawann Smith or Chris Lofton or Wayne Chism. We are a true point guard away from being a very good team. Adding a big body to the roster, even if just for practice purposes, can't hurt.

Dakari Johnson, the No. 1 Center in the nation just announced he is going to Kentucky next year. Kentucky simply reloads.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

Dakari Johnson, the No. 1 Center in the nation just announced he is going to Kentucky next year. Kentucky simply reloads.

Yeah, kind of like a huggies diaper..

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Yeah, kind of like a huggies diaper..

Hahahaha! Thanks for the early morning laugh, BB!

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